Toronto After Dark Film Festival

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Toronto After Dark Film Festival
Toronto After Dark Film Festival.jpg
Location Toronto, Canada
Language International
www.torontoafterdark.com

Toronto After Dark Film Festival is a showcase of horror, sci-fi, action and cult cinema held annually in Toronto, Canada at the Bloor Cinema. The festival premieres a diverse selection of feature-length and short-films from around the world including new works from Asia, Europe and North America.

Past Festivals[edit]

2006[edit]

The inaugural festival was held October 20–24, 2006, at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto, Canada. The festival showcased 13 feature films from around the world, and 15 short films from Canada. Some of the films screened at the festival included Special, directed by Hal Haberman and Jeremy Passmorewhere, the J-horror film Retribution from cult director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, the North American premiere of the Thai action-horror film Vengeance, and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, which won the festival's first Audience Award.

Other films included The Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell, Shinobi: Heart Under Blade, Night of the Living Dorks, Re-cycle, Mad Cowgirl, Slaughter Night and Naisu no mori: The First Contact. The festival also featured a Make Your Own Damn Movie! masterclass taught by Lloyd Kaufman. Festival attendance was 4,350.

2007[edit]

The 2nd annual festival was held from October 19 to 25, 2007, at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The festival expanded to fifty films; fourteen features and 36 short films from around the world, including 15 Canadian shorts. Some of the highlights include the festival included The Tripper, directed by David Arquette, the new film from director Shinya Tsukamoto Nightmare Detective, the premiere of the latest Troma Entertainment film Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead, Uwe Boll's latest epic In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, the zombie-western short film, It Came From The West, the world premiere of John Bergin's From Inside, Mulberry Street which went on to win the festival's After Dark Spirit Award, and the Thai horror film Alone from directors Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom, which won the festival's annual Audience Award. Festival attendance was 6,500.

Other films included Blood Car, Wolfhound, The Rebel, Audience of One, Aachi & Ssipak, Ambassador's Day, Murder Party, Operation Fish, Terror On The 3918, Simon Says and many more.

2008[edit]

The 3rd annual festival expanded to eight nights and was held from October 17 to 24, 2008, at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto, Canada. Highlights of the 3rd Annual Festival included sell-out screenings of Let the Right One In, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Tokyo Gore Police and the North American Premiere of I Sell The Dead. Over 30 attending filmmakers on stage to introduce their films, including Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter) and Angus Scrimm (Phantasm), packed nightly social events, rave reviews for the films programmed, and of course the ever-popular Zombie Walk. Other films included Trailer Park of Terror, Mirageman, Idiots and Angels, Who is KK Downey?, 4bia, Brain Dead,Donkey Punch,Mutant Chronicles, and Home Movie. The festival also featured a Make Your Own Damn Movie! masterclass taught by Lloyd Kaufman. Festival attendance was over 8,500 enthusiastic fans.

Over 3,500 votes were cast for the Audience Award for Best Feature Film and the Gold (1st Place) winner is Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In, with Silver (2nd Place) going to cult sci-fi horror musical Repo! The Genetic Opera, and Bronze (3rd Place) awarded by fans to the Thai supernatural anthology movie 4bia (Phobia). Awards were also handed out for Best Independent Feature Film, where the big winner was the grave-robber comedy, I Sell The Dead, and in the short film categories, winners included the hysterical Christmas tree exploitation film Treevenge.

2009[edit]

The 4th annual festival made the move to summer, and was held August 14–21, 2009, once again at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with over 9,000 fans attending the festival. Highlights included screenings of the Norwegian Nazi zombie horror-comedy Dead Snow, the creepy anthology Trick 'r Treat and the cult blaxploitation action-comedy Black Dynamite, which won Gold, Silver and Bronze respectively in the Audience Choice Awards. The festival also hosted its first ever world premiere, Strigoi, an offbeat Romanian vampire comedy that was awarded by the fest Gold in the Best Independent Feature Film category. Silver and Bronze honours went to the darkly hilarious undead buddy movie, The Revenant, and the shocking zombie-baby thriller, Grace, respectively.

Other films included Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl, The Warlords (starring Jet Li, Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro), Black (starring MC Jean Gab'1), Rough Cut, Franklyn (starring Ryan Phillippe and Eva Green), The Forbidden Door, Must Love Death, Someone's Knocking at the Door, The Children, Embodiment of Evil (the third film in the Coffin Joe trilogy), and The Dark Hour. Shorts After Dark (International Short Film Snowcase) comprised 11 new horror, sci-fi, action, and cult short films from around the world, including a number of international award winners. Canada After Dark (Canadian Short Film Snowcase) featured 17 "home-grown" short films (and are the opening acts for the feature films).

2010[edit]

The 5th annual festival was held August 13–20, 2010, once again at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with over 9,300 fans attending. Highlights included the festival's first-ever red carpet premiere for The Last Exorcism, with producer Eli Roth, stars Ashley Bell and Patrick Fabian attending, the "100% medically accurate", The Human Centipede, and the 2010 remake of the 1978 shocker, I Spit On Your Grave. These three films won Gold, Silver and Bronze respectively, in the Audience Choice Awards.

Other films included The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu, Doghouse, Evil In the Time of Heroes, Robogeisha, Alien vs Ninja, Phobia 2, Cargo, Centurion, Black Death, All About Evil, High School and Rubber.

Shorts After Dark (International Short Film Snowcase) comprised 10 new horror, sci-fi, action, and cult short films from around the world, including a number of international award winners and premieres. 2010's Best International Short Film award winners included; Off Season (Gold), Pumzi (Silver), and Deus Irae (Bronze). Canada After Dark (Canadian Short Film Snowcase) featured 16 "home-grown" short films (and are the opening acts for the feature films). 2010's Best Canadian Short Film award winners included; Junko's Shamisen (Gold), King Chicken (Silver), and Fireman and Game Night (tied for Bronze).

2011[edit]

Cast and crew of the film Monster Brawl at the gala opening of the 2011 festival.

The 6th annual festival returned to October and the Halloween Season for the first time in three years, taking place October 20–27, 2011 at the Toronto Underground Cinema. A record number of feature films and short film submissions were received this year.

Toronto After Dark announced the first eight Official Selections of its 2011 film line-up, at Fan Expo Canada, August 25, 2011, then on the official website August 31, 2011. The films selected so far include, Monster Brawl - "It's the Ultimate Fight of the Living Dead"; Exit Humanity, a zombie saga set against the back-drop of the American Civil War; the Canadian Premiere of the Pierce Brothers' DeadHeads - a zombie/buddy/road-trip/comedy/adventure/horror; Redline - an intense, trippy, Japanese ANIME set in the world of car racing; The Theatre Bizarre - a terrifying horror anthology from such genre legends as Tom Savini and Richard Stanley; The World Premiere of Father's Day - a new, sick and twisted story from Astron-6 and Troma, in the vein of Hobo with a Shotgun and other exploitation/grindhouse films; Love - a time-travel sci-fi drama in the vein of The Fountain, and 2001: A Space Odyssey and finally Xavier Gens's The Divide, an apocalyptic descent into despair, madness and human depravity as residents of a New York City apartment building (including Michael Biehn, Lauren German, Milo Ventimiglia, Rosanna Arquette and Michael Eklund) take refuge in the basement after a nuclear attack, only to face something more horrific, each other.

Toronto After Dark was honoured in hosting two more World Premiere screenings. The WWII action-horror-zombie film, War of the Dead, directed by Marko Mäkilaakso and the dark, superhero thriller, VS, directed by Jason Trost (co-writer/director and star of the SXSW smash-hit, THE FP) and starring James Remar.

Other films include the Jack Perez's dark-comedy/horror, Some Guy Who Kills People, starring Kevin Corrigan, the vampire-drama, Midnight Son, the award-winning supernatural thriller, Absentia, the action-thriller, A Lonely Place to Die, Astron-6's sci-fi, action-comedy, Manborg, the Canadian sci-fi thriller, The Corridor, the controversial film that stunned Sundance Film Festival, Lucky McKee's The Woman and Ti West's haunted hotel thriller, The Innkeepers.

Astron-6's Father's Day, The Divide and DeadHeads won Gold, Silver and Bronze respectively, in the Audience Choice Awards for Best Feature Film.

2012[edit]

The 7th annual festival saw the Toronto After Dark Film Festival return to the recently reopened and renovated The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, October 18–26, 2012. 2012's festival also expanded one extra night, showcasing a total of twenty feature films and a wealth of Canadian and International short films. The Toronto After Dark Film Festival hosted two Spotlight Presentation Screening Nights Summer 2012, taking place also at The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, Wednesday, June 27 and Wednesday, July 11. These two evenings showcased two films each night, including Juan of the Dead, The Pact, Detention and the Canadian Premiere of V/H/S.

The 2012 Toronto After Dark Film Festival Official Selections included the Canadian Premiere of the body-modification thriller, American Mary, from Vancouver-based writers, producers and directors, Sylvia and Jen Soska (otherwise known as the Soska Twins). Other selections included, the Irish alien-monster horror-comedy, Grabbers; the dark crime-thriller, Crave, directed by DVD and Blu-ray producer and filmmaker, Charles de Lauzirika; the British horror film, Inbred; the third installment of the REC series, REC 3: Génesis; the British zombie-comedy, Cockneys vs Zombies, starring Pussy Galore herself, Honor Blackman; the South Korean science-fiction anthology film, Doomsday Book; the Canadian "LARP"-ing comedy, Lloyd The Conqueror; Scott Adkins joins Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren in the latest UniSol installment, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning; the dark fantasy-thriller, After; the paranormal sequel, Grave Encounters 2; the Irish psychological-horror film, Citadel, from director, Ciaran Foy; the documentary, My Amityville Horror, in which Daniel Lutz, one of the children who lived through The Amityville Horror, is interviewed; Resolution, directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead; Tony Todd, Mark Hamill, Noah Hathaway, James Duval and newcomer, Cortney Palm, highlight Kern Saxton's revenge crime-thriller, Sushi Girl; Japanese director, Noboru Iguchi's comedy-horror, Dead Sushi; the home-invasion thriller, In Their Skin, starring Selma Blair, James D'Arcy and Rachel Miner; and Wrong, the latest film from Quentin Dupieux (aka Mr. Oizo).

A Fantastic Fear of Everything, starring Simon Pegg, and Juan Martínez Moreno's Spanish werewolf-comedy, Game of Werewolves (Lobos de Arga), rounded out the closing night of the festival.

Cockneys vs Zombies, Dead Sushi and A Fantastic Fear of Everything won Gold, Silver and Bronze respectively, in the Audience Choice Awards for Best Feature Film.

2013[edit]

The 8th annual festival sees the Toronto After Dark Film return once again this year, October 17–25, 2013. This year the festival partnered up with Canada's Cineplex Entertainment, with the Scotiabank Theatre location hosting the festival.

The Toronto After Dark Film Festival hosted two Pre-Festival Screening Nights Summer 2013, taking place also at the Scotiabank Theatre, Thursday, August 29 and Thursday, September 26. These two evenings showcased two films each night, including Bad Milo; V/H/S/2; the Canadian Premiere of Europa Report and, The Dirties.

The 2013 Toronto After Dark Film Festival Official Selections included the Opening Gala film and Toronto Premiere of Jim Mickle's, We Are What We Are. This marks a return to Toronto After Dark for Jim Mickle, as his 2006 film, Mulberry Street was a previous Toronto After Dark Official Selection. Other returning Toronto After Dark alumni for 2013 included, Henry Saine, bringing his latest film, Bounty Killer, and, Jesse T. Cook unleashing, Septic Man, for the Canadian Premiere. Other selections included, creature features, Big Ass Spider! and Eega; the British zombie-comedy, Stalled; the highly-acclaimed zombie-drama, The Battery, directed by Jeremy Gardner, and starring Gardner and Adam Cronheim; the World Premiere of the Canadian thriller, Silent Retreat, directed by Tricia Lee; Don Thacker's Motivational Growth, starring Jeffrey Combs as the voice of "The Mold"; the Canadian Premiere of, Odd Thomas, directed by Stephen Sommers and based on the novels by, Dean Koontz; the Canadian horror-thriller, Solo; the sci-fi films, The Last Days on Mars, and, The Machine, directed by Caradog W. James; the Toronto premiere of, Found, directed by Scott Schrimer; the World Premiere of the Canadian action-horror-dark comedy film, Evil Feed, directed by Kimani Ray Smith; the Bigfoot found-footage thriller, Willow Creek, directed by Bobcat Goldthwait and Blair Erickson's Banshee Chapter.

Cheap Thrills, starring Pat Healy, Sara Paxton, Ethan Embry and David Koechner rounded out the closing night of the festival with, Big Bad Wolves, selected as the Closing Gala film. This dark, crime-thriller from Israel is directed by Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado. Quentin Tarantino called it the best film of 2013.

The Battery, Solo and Banshee Chapter won Gold, Silver and Bronze respectively, in the Audience Choice Awards for Best Feature Film.

2014[edit]

The 9th annual festival sees the Toronto After Dark Film Festival return October 16-24, 2014. The Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre, in downtown Toronto, will be the venue.

See also[edit]

Other genre film festivals[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]